sex positive poly memoir


New member
I just read "An intimate life: Sex, love, and my journey as a surrogate partner", which is a memoir by the woman who was the model for the surrogate in The Sessions. I think other folks here might appreciate or be interested in this book.
I'd wondered how she came to her line of work and how she felt about it, and she was very open about her experiences. More graphic about the work itself than I'd expected, but that really gave a sense of what it was like. She was also poly for at least some of her life, although she doesn't use the word.

Reading it, I am so grateful that my kids will grow up in a more sexually open and tolerant environment than I did. And it gives me a better sense of the issues my brought-up-very-Catholic parents were up against.
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Well-known member


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The Sessions was a movie that was based on an article written by a poet/writer/advocate named Mark O'Brien who suffered very severely from post-polio syndrome. He basically lived his life flat on his back (and yet managed to attend Berkeley). I think he was pretty much paralyzed from the neck down.

He was also very Catholic, which coupled with his disability made sexuality pretty complicated.

In his mid 30s he decided that he wanted to lose his virginity, and worked with a sex surrogate, and the article he wrote describes this.

The movie put a Hollywood twist on the whole thing, which probably makes a better story, but I wish they'd stuck with reality. Still, the acting was good, and it was definitely an unusual story. William Macy was in it, and Helen Hunt, and either Helen Hunt or the guy who played O'Brien (whose name I've forgotten) was nominated for an Oscar.

But the movie's much more focused on him; you don't get much understanding of her motivations, and that's why I thought the book was interesting. She worked (works?) as a surrogate for 40+ yrs, and seems like a pretty impressive person.